Police Officer Challenged by Defence Counsel

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

One Musa Jarjue, a narcotic officer at the Serrekunda Police Station who testified against Demba Ceesay and Ali Khan in a drug case, was on 12th October, 2009, challenged by Lawyer Kebba Sayang who was defending the first accused, Demba Ceesay, by way of cross-examination before Senior Magistrate Abdoulie Mbacke.

In his evidence, the witness, Musa Jarjue told the court that he lives in Fajikunda and is a narcotic officer attached at the Serrekunda Police Station, at the Drug Squad Section and that he recognised the accused persons.

He stated that on 8th August, 2009, he was on duties at Serrekunda Police Station when he received a tip at Dunya Motel at Serrekunda.

He adduced that he was then deployed with one Inspector Bakary Jibba to the said motel and when they reached there they found the accused persons with another person. He added that Demba Ceesay, Ali Khan and Mustapha Hussein, a Lebanese, were found in a room, where they identified themselves as drug officers.

He indicated that a search was conducted on Demba Ceesay and was found with $400 and D2500. He said they continued to search the room and later found a metal bottle containing some liquid, after which the accused persons and Mustapha Hussein were arrested and escorted to Serrekunda Police Station where they were handed over to the CID officers for further investigation.

During cross-examination by the Defence Counsel, it was put to him that the purpose of going to the motel was to carry out an investigation concerning the accused persons and Mustapha Hussein who was not in court. He answered in the positive. Asked what his findings were as a result of his investigation, he said they found a metal bottle with some liquid in it.

When he was asked what else he found there, he said they also found $400 and D2500 on Demba Ceesay. Asked where he found the $400 and D2500 on Demba Ceesay, he said it was found in his pocket. When he was asked whether he found anything on the second accused, Ali Khan, he responded in the negative.

"Did you ask Demba Ceesay how he got the $400 and D2500?" the Defence Counsel asked. "Demba Ceesay told me that he received the money through Mustapha Hussein," he answered.

Asked whether Demba Ceesay explained the circumstances under which he received the money from Mustapha Hussein, he adduced that Demba Ceesay told him that he sold a bottle of Mercury to Mustapha Hussein.

"You will agree with me that there was a transaction of sale between Demba Ceesay and Mustapha Hussein," Defence Counsel put it to the witness.

"Yes, there was," he answered.

It was put to him that the bottle of Mercury he referred to, his colleague, Bakary Jibba, said in his evidence that the bottle was thrown behind by a third person and he, the witness was instructed to pick it up.

"Who threw the bottle behind the defence counsel enquired?

"Mustapha Hussein threw the bottle," he replied.

"Since you were the investigator at the scene, did you find out why Mustapha Hussein threw the bottle behind?" challenged the Defence Counsel.

"Mustapha Hussein told me that he was panic and that was why he threw the bottle, "the witness said.

When it was put to him that he said he had a tip in his evidence and what the information was, he said, it was about drug and further stated that there were some people dealing with drugs at Dunya Motel.

"When you entered the room where Demba Ceesay and Ali Kan were, did you see any form of drugs with the accused in the room?" asked the Defence Counsel.

"No," he told the court.

"Apart form the room the accused persons where did you search any other room in the motel?" the Defence Counsel questioned.

"No" said the witness.

"Did Demba Ceesay and Ali Khan have a report with the Drug Squad before relating to drug offences?" the Defence Counsel enquired.

"No," answered the witness

"It is correct that you are a narcotic officer. You conducted a search and did not find any drugs with the accused.

Why did you arrest them?" asked the Defence Counsel.

"They were arrested because there was a bottle of Mercury found in the room and through experience, people use mercury for manufacturing fake money," he responded.

"Is that bottle of Mercury a drug or does it contain drugs?" asked the Defence Counsel.

"No," he answered

Put to him that he had no cause to arrest the accused persons and in doing so, he abused his powers as a narcotic officer, he responded in the negative.

When it was again put to him that the transaction entered by the accused persons and Mustapha Hussein was a lawful transaction.

"Selling Mercury in the country is not legal," he answered.

"Which law said that it is unlawful to sell Mercury, as a trained officer in drugs?" challenged the Defense Counsel

"I don't know," he replied.

Author: Dawda Faye